How to Become a Counselor in Vermont

Counselors in Vermont who have completed their licensure are known as Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs). The state’s premier professional organization for CMHCs is the Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association, a state chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association whose purpose is “to provide support, advocacy, and education for mental health professionals statewide.”

Licensure for Vermont CMHCs is managed by the Board of Allied Mental Health, a division of the Vermont Secretary of State. Licensure requirements for counselors in Vermont, including education, supervision, examination, fees, renewal, and “licensure by endorsement,” are examined in further detail below, along with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as scholarships and loan repayment programs available to CMHCs in the state.

Northwestern University

The Family Institute at Northwestern University


Master of Arts in Counseling

Earn a CACREP-accredited master’s in counseling online from top-9 ranked1 Northwestern University.

1U.S. News & World Report: 2022 Best National University Rankings 

  • CACREP Accredited
  • Earn your MA in Counseling from Northwestern in as few as 18 months
  • Accelerated full-time, traditional, or part-time tracks available

New York University

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development


Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance

Learn more about NYU Steinhardt’s online MA degree that prepares you to become a school counselor in as few as 18 months. Graduates can pursue certification and employment in pre-K–12 schools. Bachelor’s req.

  • Complete in as few as 18 months.
  • Pursue school counselor certification.
  • Study bilingual school counseling (optional). 
  • GRE scores are not required. 

University of Southern California (USC)

USC Rossier School of Education


Master of Education in School Counseling

The University of Southern California Rossier School of Education offers a Master of Education in School Counseling online for aspiring K-12 school counselors. The program can be completed in less than two years and there is no GRE requirement.

  • No GRE required 
  • Prepares you for school counseling credential 
  • Bachelor’s degree required


Counselor Education in Vermont

Licensure as a mental health counselor in Vermont requires the completion of a master’s degree or higher in counseling or a related field from an accredited educational institution.

Appropriate degree programs will be at least 60 credits of graduate level coursework in mental health counseling or a related field, including three credits in five of the following core content areas:

  1. Human growth and development
  2. Theories
  3. Counseling skills
  4. Groups
  5. Measurement
  6. Professional orientation and ethics
  7. Treatment modalities

In addition, at least three graduate credits in two of the follow content areas must be completed:

  1. Marriage, couples, and family counseling
  2. Human sexuality for counselors
  3. Crisis intervention
  4. Addictive disorders
  5. Psychopharmacology

And three graduates credits in each of the following:

  1. Multi-cultural studies
  2. Research and evaluation
  3. Career and lifestyle appraisal

Internship Requirements

In addition to the coursework listed above, Vermont CMHC licensure also requires the completion of a 700-hour supervised internship or field experience as part of the degree program. This requirement is distinct from post-graduate supervision, which is also necessary for CMHC licensure in Vermont.

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Supervision Hours

“Supervision” is shorthand for directed, post-graduate experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. Vermont requires CMHCs to complete 3,000 hours of supervision in no less than two years. This must include at least 2,000 hours in direct client service, with the remaining hours in either continued clinical practice or related service. It should also include no fewer than 100 hours of face-to-face direction from the approved supervisor with at least 50 hours in an individual setting.

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CMHC licensure in Vermont (PDF, 335 KB) requires a passing score on both the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification, and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam.

National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)

The NCE is a 200-question, multiple-choice examination administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. It assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities in effective counseling services.

National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE)

The NCMHCE tests knowledge of assessment, diagnosis, counseling, psychotherapy, administration, consultation, and supervision. It consists of 10 clinical mental health counseling cases and assesses clinical problem-solving ability by testing identification, analysis, and treatment. It is also administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

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CMHC Licensure Fees

Vermont CMHCs can expect to pay the following fees for their license, application and renewal :

CMHC License Application: $150

CMHC Biennial License Renewal: $200

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CMHC License Renewal

Vermont CMHC licenses expire biennially on January 31 of each odd-numbered year. New licenses issued within the 90 days preceding the expiration date will not need to be renewed. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate fees and the completion of continuing education.

Continuing Education

CMHCs in Vermont are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) during each two-year renewal period. At least four of these hours must focus on professional ethics, and the rest must be on the theory and practice of clinical mental health counseling.

CE hours may be earned through formal activities, such as graduate academic courses and institutes, workshops, seminars, and conferences approved by the Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health. They may also be obtained through individualized learning activities (no more than 20 hours per period), teaching, consultation, and supervision.

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Additional Information

For Counselors Licensed in Other States

The Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. This process is called “licensure without examination”. Out-of-state applicants must submit proof of a valid and in good standing license. At the discretion of the secretary of the board, applicants from other states may be issued a license in Vermont if standards are substantially met without examination.

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Average Counselor Salary in Vermont

Vermont counselors can expect to earn these average hourly and annual wages, according to the May 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics :

Type of CounselorAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Wage
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
Rehabilitation Counselors
All Other Counselors

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Vermont Counseling Scholarships

The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to Vermont CMHCs: 

  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: $500 to $1,500
  • Description: VSAC coordinates applications for a number of awards, including the Hildegard Durfee Scholarship and the Patrick and Judith McHugh Scholarship, both of which offer Vermont residents funding to pursue graduate degrees.
  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Description: This award from the American Psychological Foundation is available to one full-time graduate student in good standing at an accredited university who has demonstrated a commitment to stigma issues.
  • Type: Loan Repayments
  • Amount: Between $25,000 and $100,000
  • Description: CMHCs in Vermont are eligible to apply for loan repayment assistance in exchange for working in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) at a site approved by the National Health Service Corps. Funding is tied to HPSA score and is in exchange for two years of full- or half-time service.
  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: To Be Decided
  • Description: The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program provides funds to schools, which in turn offer scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are studying professional counseling, amongst other health professions.

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*Licensure information including requirements, renewals, scholarships and fees were retrieved as of May 2022. Information may have changed since, check with the state’s board of licensing for more information.

Last Updated: May 2022